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19 March 2021, 16:01

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This feathered predator is very rare for Moscow. The owl is listed in the capital’s Red Book.

For the first time, Mospriroda employees were able to find and photograph a long-tailed owl comfortably perched on a black alder in the Kuzminki-Lyublino Natural and Historical Park.

The feathered predator chose a new place of residence for a reason. The thickets of black alder trees in the nature park form a continuous dense strip – for owls it is important to combine a small secluded and protected area of ​​the forest and open space where they look out for their prey.

The long-tailed owl is called the Ural owl in another way, since the species was first described in the Urals. This owl is very large, with a wingspan of over a meter. The general color is light gray with dark stripes. She, like many other owls, feeds on mouse-like rodents. This feathered predator is very rare for Moscow. The bird is listed in the Red Book of the city with the nature conservation status “first category of rarity”.

The Long-tailed Owl is found mainly during the winter migrations in large forests. It nests in tree holes, nests built by daytime birds of prey, on the ground under upturned stumps or dense Christmas trees, as well as in large tree crevices and other shelters.

All nocturnal birds living in the capital are listed in the Red Book of Moscow and need protection. Therefore, in December last year, the employees of Mospriroda hung artificial nests for representatives of the owl family on the territory of the Kuzminki-Lyublino park.

Nest boxes of various designs were made for birds. Thus, experts are trying to increase or strengthen the population of the species – to attract such owls as the long-eared owl, the great-eared owl and the tawny owl. The prepared owls (owls) were hung in the woodlands within the nesting range of the species. In order not to disturb the birds, the least visited places were chosen.

Mosprirod hopes that the houses will be inhabited by feathered guests and will serve for many years. For control, a field diary is kept, where all information is entered: about the type of box (for which species it is intended, the size of the entrance and the bottom), the type of tree, the height from the ground to the nesting site and the name of the biotope.

If the box is not inhabited, this does not mean that it hangs just like that, birds may well use it for a night’s rest. Sometimes squirrels live there.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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